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Salutary pizza spice
Date:6/25/2008

This release is available in German.

Oregano doesnt only give a Pizza its typical taste. Researchers at Bonn University and the ETH Zrich have discovered that this spice also contains a substance which, amongst other qualities, appears to help cure inflammations. The researchers administered its active ingredient known as beta-caryophyllin (E-BCP) - to mice with inflamed paws. In seven out of ten cases there was a subsequent improvement in the symptoms. E-BCP might possibly be of use against disorders such as osteoporosis and arteriosclerosis. The study has appeared on Monday, 23rd June in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

E-BCP is a typical ingredient of many spices and food plants. Hence it is also found in plants such as basil, rosemary, cinnamon, and black pepper. Every day, we consume up to 200 milligrams of this annular molecule.

No-one had previously realised that it can have a beneficial effect on the body. "Our results have revealed that E-BCP inhibits inflammation", declared Professor Dr. Andreas Zimmer of the Life&Brain-Zentrum in Bonn. But thats not all: "experiments on mice have shown that this substance is also effective against osteoporosis."

Beta-caryophyllin docks on specific receptor structures in the cell membrane - the so-called cannabinoid-CB2 receptors, and produces a change in cell behaviour: for example, it will inhibit the cells production of phlogogenic signal substances. "We have used E-BCP to treat mice with paws swollen due to inflamations", explained Dr. Jrg Gertsch of the ETH Zrich. "In up to 70 per cent of cases the swelling subsequently subsided".

Pizza cant make you high

Consequently, E-BCP could possibly form the basis for new drugs. One especial attraction for the pharmacological researcher is that this substance is so common in nature.
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Contact: Dr. Andreas Zimmer
neuro@uni-bonn.de
49-228-688-5300
University of Bonn
Source:Eurekalert

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